The Voice of Australia’s Volunteers

Jay Owen Global Citizen

The Voice of Australia’s Volunteers 
6.4 million Volunteers |665,00 Voluntary Community Groups

Invitation to Membership

By Volunteers For Volunteers

6.4 million Volunteers | 665,000 Voluntary Community Groups

On 3 June 2013, a national voice for Australia’s volunteers and volunteer-driven not-for-profits was formed in Adelaide. It is an incorporated association.

There are 6.4 million volunteers in Australia and 700,000 community organisations and not-for-profits. About 35,000 of these 700,000 groups employ one or more staff. The other 665,000 do not employ staff and rely solely on voluntary resources in serving their communities and generating social capital and belonging.

These 6.4 million volunteers and 665,000 voluntary community organisations are unrepresented and without a voice in the public arena. When governments consult with community organisations, they talk to the 5% of organisations with paid staff and service delivery contracts, and ignore the other 95%. When governments consider volunteering, they talk only to organisations that use volunteers, not to volunteers themselves.

But now we have a voice. We invite your membership of The Voice of Australia’s Volunteers in one of three categories:

·        Individuals who volunteer, without payment, for the betterment of Australian society.
Annual membership fee: $5

·        Volunteer-driven not-for-profit organizations which contribute to the betterment of Australian society.
Annual membership fees: 
$25 (annual revenue < $50,000);  $200 (annual revenue $50,000 – $500,000); $500 (annual revenue > $500,000)

·        Circles of any nine volunteers who decide to form a circle and register it with the association.
Annual membership fee: 
$18 for each group of 9 members

Join up using this online form.

Our Objects

The objects of The Voice of Australia’s Volunteers are to:

·        Represent and promote the interests of Australia’s volunteers and volunteer-driven not-for-profit organizations

·        Provide a public voice for volunteering, and use that voice to communicate with government, the media and other stakeholders.

·        Enable individual volunteers, and volunteer-driven not-for-profit organizations to innovate for the wellbeing of society.

·        Be a sounding board for the concerns of volunteers and volunteer-driven not-for- profit organizations.

·        Facilitate a national insurance plan for volunteers to cover those not currently affiliated with groups which have insurance.

·        Raise public interest and awareness of relevant issues.

·        Encourage individuals and groups to join together and network.

·        Recognize volunteer contributions to Australia’s triple bottom line.

·        Promote new areas of volunteering.

Our Networking Structure 

We aim to have a circle of nine volunteers providing voice and representation in the following areas and in any others where volunteers are active:

·        Emergency services units/brigades – a circle in each unit/brigade

·        Hospitals – a circle in each hospital or health centre

·        Op shops – a circle in each shop

·        Bushland reserves, national parks – a circle in each reserve or park

·        Older people/ageing – a circle in each program, centre, facility

·        Disabilities – a circle in each project, centre

·        Schools/Kindergartens – a circle of parent volunteers in each school/kindergarten

Our Voting Structure

·        Individual members – one vote.

·        Volunteer-driven not-for-profit organisations – one vote for the organisation and one vote for every 9 of its members who form a circle. Each circle of 9 decides how it will vote on any issue.

·        Circles – one vote for the circle.

Our structure aims to encourage small group networks amongst volunteers and voluntary contributors to society in all walks of life.

Our Office-bearers

President – Fuzzy Trojan, Adelaide SA 
Mentor and advocate for volunteers; former ‘golden guru’ with Volunteering SA and NT; social innovator and author. [photo, right]

Vice-President – Aloma Fennell, Neutral Bay NSW
Volunteer in developing new roles for ageing people; founder of The Senior Agenda; adult educator, mentor and adviser to volunteer boards. [photo, right]

Vice-President – Carmel Daveson AM, Mackay QLD 
Awarded the Order of Australia for services to Community, Education and Arts; community builder, adult educator and President of The Handbell Society of Australasia. 
[photo, below right]

Treasurer and Public Officer – Darren Andrews, Marden SA
Volunteer with St. Johns Ambulance and State Emergency Service; volunteered as swimming coach with Special Olympics, presenter on community radio, bus conductor with his local council assisting senior citizens.

Secretary – Vern Hughes, Melbourne VIC
Anglican Church volunteer; author and advocate for civil society.

Website Developer – Matt Taylor, East St Kilda VIC
Volunteer with the Heart Foundation and the Country Fire Authority. 

Committee members: George Adler, Gerry Butler, Cilla Adler.

Join up using this online form.

Voice and Representation

Join up using this 
online form.

Please indicate on the membership form your areas of voluntary activity, and ways in which you would like to participate in this Voice.

Read A Voice for Volunteers by Fuzzy Trojan, an address delivered in Melbourne in February 2013.

The development process for this Association is hosted by the Centre for Civil Society.


Fuzzy Trojan
0419 901 133
[email protected]

Vern Hughes
03 5629 8400
0425 722 890
[email protected]